Kyren Wilson believes his simmering rivalry with Judd Trump can only be a good thing for snooker.
The Kettering snooker star is gearing up for a return to the Alexandra Palace in London for the Dafabet Masters, having reached the final of the competition 12 months ago when he was beaten 10-7 by Mark Allen.
On his way to that final, Wilson came from 5-2 down to beat Trump in another excellent encounter between two of the rising stars in the sport.
The rivalry between the two had already been built up before they were paired together in this year’s first-round draw in the Masters.
Trump has nine ranking titles to his name at the age of 29 while Wilson has won two at the age of 27, his first being the Shanghai Masters in 2015 when he defeated Trump in a thrilling final.
Their paths have continued to cross ever since and Wilson said: “I think it’s good for the sport.
“We have had a few really good games and we are two of the younger players who are coming through.
“You have the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins and the old guard of the game but they are not going to be around forever.
“If there are a couple of younger lads who can spark some interest then I think that can only be a good thing and I am pleased to be part of that.
“To be honest, it just makes me want to work harder and win more and I am sure the same goes for Judd.
“He is a great player and we have had some great matches but my record against him is pretty good. I was 5-2 down against him at the Masters last year and came back and that was probably one of the best wins of my career.
“I managed to beat him in the Champion of Champions at the end of last year as well so I have done well in some big games against him.
“But he is a very, very good player and he is one of the toughest opponents you could face.”
Wilson was left almost inconsolable after he lost to Allen in the Masters final last year.
And, after “almost touching the trophy”, the Kettering star would love nothing more than to go one better this time.
However, he knows that is easier said than done.
“To be honest, I love this part of the calendar. We have the Masters and the World Championship isn’t far away,” Wilson said.
“The Masters is probably my second favourite event after the Worlds, it’s only the top 16 so it’s very lucrative and it is obviously going to be very difficult.
“I have experienced the feeling of almost touching the trophy so I know what it takes.
“It was a great experience for me last year and I would love to go one better this time.
“But it’s an extremely difficult event to win so you can’t take it for granted."